Organizing Theory & Artistry

Lent: Days 20 and 21

Lent: Days 20 and 21
Snow again?!  The scene this morning.
Snow again?! The scene this morning.

It has been quite a day of bombshells. From the “surprise” winter snowstorm this morning dumping about 4 inches on my daffodils about to bloom to the shocking announcement from Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin that they are separating. It feels like I have been sharing my meals every day for the last 20 days with the Martin family– reading about their apple trees and admiring the pictures of their beautiful children. I am very sad for their split and wish them all the best in this difficult time.

As for me, the clean eating diet continues. I am getting very close to the halfway point (Lent is technically 46 days long) and while I do look forward to the taste of chocolate on Easter, it has not been that hard to stay on the diet as yet.

Day 20

My first meal after the fast day . . . sweet quinoa.
My first meal after the fast day . . . sweet quinoa.
My addiction . . . the pumpkin pie shake.
My addiction . . . the pumpkin pie shake.
Trying a new recipe for my lunch salad, the "Healthy Tuna Salad."  I went to use the pickles I bought and noticed they had high fructose corn syrup in them so I swapped out the pickled jalapenos (that I have been using in the omelets and chilis) instead.  Tuna and jalapeno is delicious!
Trying a new recipe for my lunch salad, the “Healthy Tuna Salad.” I went to use the pickles I bought and noticed they had high fructose corn syrup in them so I swapped out the pickled jalapenos (that I have been using in the omelets and chilis) instead. Tuna and jalapeno is delicious!
An apple with natural (non-sugar) peanut butter is swiftly becoming my favorite thing to eat on this whole diet!
An apple with natural (non-sugar) peanut butter is swiftly becoming my favorite thing to eat on this whole diet!
For dinner, I tried another new recipe: "Broccoli Arugula soup."  It has relatively simple ingredients that you puree.   It has a very mild flavor.  I added in some leftover quinoa and black beans to make it a little heartier.
For dinner, I tried another new recipe: “Broccoli Arugula soup.” It has relatively simple ingredients that you puree. It has a very mild flavor. I added in some leftover quinoa and black beans to make it a little heartier.

Day 21

Starting the day with a pumpkin pie shake.
Starting the day with a pumpkin pie shake.
For my husband's breakfast, I made him "Chloe's Afternoon Shake" that has almond butter and bananas in it.  He said it was quite good.
For my husband’s breakfast, I made him “Chloe’s Afternoon Shake” that has almond butter and bananas in it. He said it was quite good.
Another new recipe for lunch: "Chicken and White Bean Chili."  This was a wonderful way to warm up on a cold, snowy day.
Another new recipe for lunch: “Chicken and White Bean Chili.” This was a wonderful way to warm up on a cold, snowy day.
More apples and peanut butter.  ("An apple a day . . . ")
More apples and peanut butter. (“An apple a day . . . “)
More sweet quinoa for a late afternoon snack.  We were running low on almond milk for this version.
More sweet quinoa for a late afternoon snack. We were running low on almond milk for this version.
Dinner: the leftover broccoli arugula soup with quinoa and black beans.
Dinner: the leftover broccoli arugula soup with quinoa and black beans.

I am starting to learn to eat just 3 meals and 2 snacks and not more. I think it does help that I am not allowed to eat anything unless it comes out of the cookbook. It prevents having to make little decisions like (would a handful of cashews be ok? How about some dates?) I am also starting to get better at recognizing when I am eating just out of boredom or stress.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP newsletter recently gave out some tips for doing a spring juice cleanse. I would link to it but her website seems hammered at the moment from all the turmoil in her personal life. Mostly she suggested various places you can buy juice cleanses from (including one in Charlottesville, Virginia).

In my random web browsing, I came across this 3-day juice cleanse from Joe Cross on Dr. Oz’s website. I loved the organization put into this post. They give you a shopping list, a visual diagram of the juices to drink and when as well as full recipes. It doesn’t get easier to follow than that! I had great results from my GOOP winter cleanse so I may consider doing the juice cleanse as well. It is really not that much different from what I am doing already.

Two other pieces of nutritional knowledge I came across recently challenged the gluten-free and dairy-free concepts of healthy eating. First, Dr. Sandra Cabot’s website had this to say about gluten-free bread:

“Most bread has a fairly high glycemic index; that means it raises your blood sugar fairly high fairly quickly. . . . Gluten free bread isn’t much better because it’s typically made from grains and starches that also have an extremely high glycemic index; these include corn, rice, tapioca and potato. You are best off minimizing bread in your diet and sticking with vegetables, salads, protein and healthy fats. . . ”

–Dr. Sandra Cabot, “My top 5 tips for looking after your heart.”

While I have been avoiding bread during my healthy eating diet, I bought some gluten-free bread to make sandwiches for my children and husband. Nobody cares for it. They think the texture is too weird and refuse to eat it!

Also, recent research from Denmark suggests that for some people (likely those of Scandinavian heritage), dietary calcium has an important role to play in body weight regulation.

So, as with all medical questions, there is not one “best” diet for everyone but there is a right answer for each body.